Tag Archive | "AM1570"

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Three the Hard Way

Posted on 03 July 2012 by derekandrews

 The NBA is now officially back in business and free agency continues to bring excitement to hoops aficionados and it’s only been three days. Just like the Frenzy of 2010 that featured the highly coveted Lebron James, today the hoops world is waiting and highly anticipating the trade of Dwight Howard. There are some strong contenders such as: the newly rebranded Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Whoever gets the big prize of 2012 would be elevated to contender status, or would be the final piece to a championship team to make another run. What has changed from free agency of the past to today’s game is the obsession of the “big three”. It is true that you can’t win alone in life nor in the game. Every great player in any sport had support from many individuals — from fellow teammates, to the support staff of a team — professional or amateur, but now teams are coveting superstars in numbers to win today, not later. The NBA is one of the only sports leagues that multiple superstars acquire that can instantly make a team elevated from a lowly team to a contender and win.

Just ask Boston in 2007. They acquired Kevin Garnett in free agency, and traded rights of Jeff Green to Seattle for Ray Allen and the rights of Glen Davis. With Boston already having Paul Pierce, the big three, made a championship run immediately, winning the 2008 NBA championship and rewriting the books of free agency. Since that acquisition, Miami not only won the Lebron James sweeptakes but made a big splash in acquiring Chris Bosh and resigning Dwyane Wade. It took two seasons, but what was expected finally came true: winning a championship.

This also changed the books of free agency and was the reason why owners during the lockout wanted to change the rules so that smaller market teams could have a chance to improve their team and even the playing field. Now it’s 2012 and the Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, and Los Angeles Lakers are on the clock. Who will win the big prize? Here are the proposed trade offers:

Trade #1: Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets are a hot marketing juggernaut this year because of the rebranding of the team’s highly popularized logo, the support from Jay-Z and Steve Stoute, and a brand new state of the art Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn. Also the fact that, the team’s new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, is very wealthy and wants to bring a contender back to New York. And it can happen with the acquisition of Dwight Howard. According to ESPN.com, The Nets have proposed to send Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Marshon Brooks, and three first round drafts picks for Dwight Howard. This is a great deal and a top choice for Howard to land. The organization has gone a long way to helping become the top interest by acquiring Joe Johnson in a trade. This would give Deron Williams added reason to stay in Brooklyn and form a very formidable big three.

Trade #2: Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks’ front office has shedded a large amount of cap money to make room for the acquisition of Dwight Howard and the possibility of getting more attractive free agents in 2013. A proposed trade offer would send Al Horford and Jeff Teague to Orlando for Dwight Howard. This deal would provide a piece that would elevate a playoff team into contention with Miami and Boston in the East. The resigning of Josh Smith is guaranteed with such a move as this one. Could Atlanta form the big three of Paul, Howard, and Smith?

Trade #3: Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers have a possibility of winning the sweepstakes of Dwight Howard because they have a piece with upside to make them continue to be competitive in the East. The Lakers proposed trade would send Andrew Bynum to Orlando for Dwight Howard. It’s sending value for value. It would keep the Orlando Magic in the interim from rebuilding. Also, the Lakers would secure the future of the franchise. The downside to this offer would be that it is all the Lakers could afford to give where other teams could package draft choices, cash, and some good talent.

What team do you see winning the prize of 2012? You decide and let me know @WinLifestyle

 

 

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It’s almost July….and we can still talk about the O’s!!!

Posted on 26 June 2012 by richardgolden

Well, here it is, June 26 and we can still actually talk about the Orioles and not use the word “suck”, “losers”, or “football season”.  At this point in the season the Orioles are 41-31 and only 2 and a half games behind the resurgent Yankees.  The team has had many ups and downs, but I actually have seen some comparisons with the “Orioles Magic” team of the 197o’s-1980′s and this team.

First of all, the contributions of everyone.  From Steve Tolleson, to Ronny Paulino, to Ryan Flaherty, to Chris Davis (as hitter and pitcher), all 25 roster players have contributed to Oriole victories. Even Xavier Avery, during his short tenure with the team, had clutch hitting and fielding plays that led to victories.

Secondly, the late inning heroics.  The Orioles lead the league with 38 homeruns in the 7th inning or later.  They have had numerous comebacks this season, after winning only one game after trailing in the seventh or later last year.  The Orioles are 9-2 in extra-inning games and 13-6 in one-run games. The 1979 team had a successful bullpen trio (Tim Stoddard, Tippy Martinez and Don Stanhouse). This team has Darren O’Day, Pedro Strop, and Jim Johnson.

Finally, the platooning system. In 1979, it was Roenickeayalastein.  (or lowenroenickayala, whomever you liked more). This year, it is the “AndinoFlaherBetemTolleChavez”.  Although they haven’t torn the league up in any way shape or form, they have been adequate enough to help the team win a few games.

Although the team has not been able to knock in runners in scoring position in the last few games, they have continued to win. The 1983 White Sox called it “Winning Ugly”. I guess in this era of political correctness it can be called “Winning not as attractively”.  Despite season ending injuries to Tsuyoshi Wada and Nolan Reimold, chunks of time missed by Mark Reynolds, Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, and J.J. Hardy, the Orioles continue to win. Despite inconsistent pitching from the starting rotation, the Orioles continue to win, thanks to the stellar work of the bullpen and the starting pitching keeping the team in games.

What’s going to happen when Markakis returns to the lineup? What about Zach Britton to the rotation? Either one of them will add depth to the team and hopefully will lead the team to more victories.

Can this team win the division? Probably not. Can they be a wild card team? Possibly. But regardless, there are many positives about the Orioles and the rest of the year should be fun to watch.

 

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

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Your Monday Reality Check-A mountain of misinformation

Posted on 17 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

I honestly still can’t believe some of the things I read/heard/saw last week about Baltimore Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie.

If you missed it, McKinnie was not on the fall last week in Owings Mills during mandatory minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. When asked why McKinnie was not practicing, head coach John Harbaugh said “Bryant McKinnie is a guy that we held out just for conditioning purposes. We’re going to probably continue to do that and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”

Let me start this post by saying I fully understand a few things. One is that Harbaugh has never felt the need to share more information than necessary about any of his players. Another is that the information was new to reporters, so asking follow up questions might not have seemed pertinent. I wasn’t present at minicamp (media availability was scheduled during my radio show “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net each day) and was unable to fully grasp exactly what was going on.

With no media availability scheduled before the start of Training Camp, reporters felt it necessary to question Harbaugh later in the week for more information about McKinnie’s status. Unfortunately the coach was again vague, offering “we will leave that between us. That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now. Bryant has done a good job, he’s worked hard. It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”

Now’s the part where I offer some examples of various stories I’ve read about Bryant McKinnie.

Here’s this from SI.com…

“Cut last season by the Vikings, Bryant McKinnie, who sat out Thursday’s practice, may be on the verge of extending an ignominious streak. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season. He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

And this from SB Nation…

“The Baltimore Ravens gave veteran left tackle Bryant McKinnie a $500,000 roster bonus earlier this spring, but now might be regretting the outlay of cash. McKinnie came to Baltimore after the Minnesota Vikings cut him last summer for reporting to camp overweight. The Ravens rounded him into shape and he had a pretty solid year, allowing the team to shift Michael Oher over to right tackle and solidify that side of the offensive line.

McKinnie reportedly was on his way to getting in good shape earlier this year, but the most recent news was that the team held him out of the mini-camp this past week for “conditioning reasons.” This does not bode well for either the Ravens nor McKinnie.

Bryant is on the short end of a legal case where he defaulted on a $4 million loan he took out during the NFL Lockout last year and seriously needs a full season paycheck to pay it back. If he does not report to the Ravens Training Camp in six weeks in excellent shape, there is a very good chance that the team may decide to cut ties with him and let him go.”

Allow me to be fair again for a second. The SI.com blurb was a clear re-write with no author attached. While SB Nation does have a handful of experienced journalists and columnists, their sites are still largely made up of part-time writers/editors with no actual experience truly covering a team.

So perhaps CSNBaltimore.com’s veteran writer Ray Frager would be a better source.

“Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie’s conditioning issues have been a big part of the Ravens chatter over this week. There is speculation he is around that 400-pound summit that caused him to lose his job in Minnesota.”

Maybe even the Baltimore Sun’s Mike Preston would be a better option.

“The entire McKinnie episode is strange and you wonder if he is going to be around when training camp opens. Here is a player who has a history of being overweight and struggled with the same problem last season.

He also reportedly has financial problems, yet can’t get into good enough shape to participate in minicamp. You have to question his commitment and when a team starts signing veteran offensive linemen and McKinnie gets held out of minicamp, it could be a sign of things to come.”

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

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Your Monday Reality Check-Shouldn’t Rice & Flacco deals have been done by now?

Posted on 04 June 2012 by Glenn Clark

It was as if there were some in the sports broadcasting universe that wanted to remind me that the Baltimore Orioles have been struggling mightily as of late.

Sure, they’re just one game out of first place at the time I type this, but the Birds sadly appear to be in a downward spiral that unfortunately most of us expected.

I’ve been a regular “Baltimore expert” for SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio since the channel’s inception, and I rotate having conversations with hosts about the O’s and the Baltimore Ravens. When I received a call last week asking me to appear on the channel, I assumed the conversation would go in the direction of the O’s, as I’ve made about four Orioles-related guest spots already this season.

But when the producer asked me if I’d be interested in talking some Ravens football, I was admittedly caught off guard. “It’s still baseball season” I thought. Just one night later I received a call from another producer on the channel, also asking me to make an appearance to discuss the Purple & Black.

So on both Friday & Saturday night of this past weekend I found myself talking Ravens football across the country on SXM. It was perhaps the single greatest reminder that in Charm City, a “June Swoon” is a great reminder that Training Camp isn’t particularly far away.

As the 2011 football season ended, there were two main narratives surrounding the defending AFC North Champs. One was surrounding the pending free agency of RB Ray Rice. The other surrounded the future of QB Joe Flacco, who was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The Ravens’ season ended 132 days ago in Foxborough (at least as of the time I wrote this) and yet seemingly little progress has been made regarding either situation.

It leads to the question (at least for me), “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?”

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said in a recent appearance on “The Reality Check” (an excellent afternoon radio program on AM1570 WNST.net) that Rice’s agent Todd France was dead set on getting a deal similar to contracts given to Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (seven years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed) or Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson (four years, $53 million with $30 million guaranteed). The Ravens are believed to be more interested in a deal similar to those recently given to Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (five years, $45 million with $20.76 million guaranteed) or Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (five years, $43.5 million with $20.75 guaranteed).

On top of that, a source with knowledge of talks revealed to me in recent weeks the Rice camp has a desire to see the running back’s deal exceed the overall value of Flacco’s.

A Carroll County Times report this weekend indicated the Ravens “aren’t anywhere close” to getting a deal done with Flacco. Flacco’s negotiating ability has been limited by the fact that contracts signed by quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning this offseason have been less than overwhelming financially. Manning landed a five year, $96 million deal, but if he’s healthy the Denver Broncos believe him capable of being Peyton Manning. The highlights of other QB contracts this offseason have been San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith (three years, worth up to $33 million with with $16.5 million guaranteed) and Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Flynn (three years, $26 million with $10 million guaranteed).

Neither deal is helpful to Flacco’s agent Joe Linta, although despite all of the goofy conversation nationally about Flacco’s standing against other National Football League quarterbacks, there simply could not be any argument either of those two quarterbacks have accomplished as much as Flacco. Humorously, Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo’s deal is up a season after Flacco’s. There had been rumors the Chicago Bears were interested in getting a new deal done with QB Jay Cutler, a decision that could have been helpful in figuring out the parameters of a Flacco contract.

Remember when I asked “what’s taking so long to get this stuff done?” Yeah, I’m aware that I’ve essentially answered my own question.

In both of my chats on SiriusXM this weekend I was asked what expected would ultimately happen with these situations. It was remarkably difficult to answer.

(Continued on Page 2)

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I hope contract helps Jones keep Birds accountable

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I hope contract helps Jones keep Birds accountable

Posted on 27 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’ve already used both space on Twitter (@WNST, @GlennClarkWNST) and on AM1570 WNST.net to opine about the significance of the Baltimore Orioles giving CF Adam Jones the richest contract in franchise history.

We now finally know all of the details and Jones is set to discuss those details Sunday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

I won’t be attending Sunday’s press conference. I would, but our WNST.net Ballpark reporter Luke Jones has been denied the right to ask questions at previous press conferences and I don’t want to run the risk of causing a scene at what should almost certainly be a day of celebration.

Adam Jones’ contract extension is as much an event to celebrate as almost anything we’ve seen in the last 15 years of baseball in Charm City. The Birds have perhaps addressed both their present and their future and made a major statement about their willingness to do things differently than they have for more than decade while losing many more games than they won.

I’m aware Jones perhaps took a hometown discount in signing the contract a season and a half shy of free agency. I’m aware the team still appears to need more pitching than they currently have to be an annual contender. I’m aware that the team now needs to shift attention to catcher Matt Wieters when it comes to contracts.

There was something bigger than jumped out at me though.

As I was given more time to dissect what Jones’ deal really means, I thought back to December 1997. For O’s fans around my age, Brady Anderson was about the coolest thing to ever happen to the Orange & Black. He had young female fans worship him and young male fans…well…basically worship him. He had it all. Sideburns, muscles, personality, charm, speed, defense and an amazing 50 home run season.

(I didn’t mention anything about performance enhancing drugs. You do what you want there.)

After Anderson’s 50 home run campaign in 1996 and the Orioles’ run to the ALCS in ’97, young fans like myself lived in fear of waking up one morning to be informed that Anderson had signed a major deal with the New York Yankees or Atlanta Braves or Cleveland Indians.

Anderson was certainly not the commodity at 34 that Jones would have been had he reached free agency at 28, but he still had market interest. He ultimately passed on shorter deals with more per season to accept five years and $31 million from Peter Angelos and the Orioles. Anderson’s best seasons were clearly behind him, but it still meant quite a bit for the franchise to make the move.

I also thought back to January of 2009, when Andy MacPhail locked up OF Nick Markakis for six years and $66 million, the richest contract extension the franchise had given to a player until Jones’ deal. (SS Miguel Tejada had received the overall most lucrative contract in team history until Jones.) While certainly not reaching superstar status, Markakis has given the Birds stellar defense and a mostly consistent bat.

But beyond the significant contracts, there is a more important similarity between the two players whose time has spanned much of the team’s “Rock Bottom Era.” The issue is that neither player was able to use his major contract to help keep the team accountable.

A baseball player with a rich contract is in a unique situation with the franchise paying the deal. Because the money is guaranteed, the player has the right to get away with certain things a player in another league might not be able to. In the case of the Orioles, they’ve really needed a player who has been willing to stand up and say “we need better” as the team suffered through losing seasons after losing season.

Allow me to be fair to the two players involved. Anderson was only part of the club at the very beginning of their lean years, and the team was still making at least some attempts to improve by bringing in the likes of Albert Belle and others. (Anderson however has become a well known defender of the Angelos regime in recent years, which has helped him find his way back into the organization.) Markakis has never been much of a vocal type, but he did publicly question the direction of the organization. His participated in a dinner with Angelos that season to discuss those very issues.

Perhaps there is an argument to be made that Markakis’ 2010 outburst DID lead to accountability, as two years later the Orioles have shown themselves (at least for two months) to be one of the better teams in baseball.

But moving forward, I hope it’s a role that suits Jones well. I hope the fire, drive, passion and determination to win that have made Jones an emotional figure in recent years will translate both on field and off. I hope that if the Birds make questionable decisions, he’ll call them out for them. It doesn’t need to be something he does publicly, just a statement made privately from the player slated to receive more money during his tenure than any Oriole before.

I hope Jones embraces not only the responsibilities of an on field leader and star, but as a bit of a caretaker for an organization that has so desperately lacked the right man for the role. I hope he puts pressure on the organization to make the moves necessary to stay in contention every season. I hope he never takes the easy way out and thinks “Mr. Angelos (or insert future owner’s name here) has made me a rich man. It’s not my place to stand up to him.”

I feel as though Jones can be a significant part of the solution for the Orioles. I hope he’s up for everything that comes along with the task.

-G

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Duquette Means Business

Posted on 25 May 2012 by Joe Giglio

Pedro Martinez. Manny Ramirez. Jason Varitek. John Wetteland. Ken Hill. Johnny Damon. Tim Wakefield.

Recognize those names? Dan Duquette certainly does. As the ex-GM of the Expos and Red Sox, Duquette acquired all of those player through either trade or free agency.

That’s why it’s no surprise to hear the Orioles’ name in connection to a pursuit for free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt or — though I’ll admit some surprise here — in the final stages of handing out giant extension to Adam Jones.

While much of Baltimore was surprised/annoyed/indifferent to the hiring of Duquette this past winter, the Orioles may have found the best person for the job after being spurned by less accomplished names.

The one thing that was evident about Duquette during his tenures in Montreal and Boston was an eye and desire for talent. While GM’s would love to win anyway possible, this guy never attempted to build scrappy teams. He attempted to build juggernauts.

While his track record with trades and free agent moves is excellent — add in Jason Hammel to that group — his draft skills were also very beneficial. Marquis Grissom, Cliff Floyd, Rondell White, Nomar Garciaparra, and Kevin Youkilis were all Duquette draft picks. Jorge De La Rosa was a Duquette era draft pick used by Theo Epstein to complete the Curt Schilling trade in 2003.

Continue reading on next page…

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Your Monday Reality Check-As Preakness week begins, I wish…

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Your Monday Reality Check-As Preakness week begins, I wish…

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Maybe I’m not the person to say this.

I probably won’t make it out to the Preakness Crab Derby. I doubt the Preakness Frog Hop is part of my week. I didn’t get to the Preakness Hot Air Balloon Festival. I’m going to miss my first Black-Eyed Susan Stakes in years. I don’t intend to get to Power Plant Live to see Buckcherry or Mr. Greengenes or Foxy Shazam.

Hell, I’m even thinking about going to Annapolis Saturday to check out Maryland-Johns Hopkins and Loyola-Denver in the NCAA Tournament at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. I don’t know if my girlfriend will go for it, but I’ve been leaning in that direction.

If you’re not aware, I made it down to Louisville again this year for the Kentucky Derby. (And how could you possibly NOT be aware when you were checking out pictures like the one below from the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs on my Facebook page during the trip?)

You fear that the rest of my column is going to be about how the Preakness isn’t nearly as good as the Kentucky Derby. Don’t. Everyone on the face of the planet knows that Preakness week isn’t Derby week. Despite how much breath you think I waste every afternoon during “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, I don’t intend to waste more space here.

I don’t think Preakness week should be like Derby week. I think Preakness week should be the crowning moment of the entire calendar annually in Charm City.

At least…I wish it would be.

Drew Forrester and I used to try to figure out a way to correctly define the relationship between Preakness and the city of Baltimore when we would chat on “The Morning Reaction.” We would throw out terms like “the single biggest annual sporting event in the city” or “the most significant event the city hosts” or “the most important date on the sporting calendar every year” but never settled on one in particular. The truth is that based on attendance, Preakness is annually the single biggest event of any kind in the city. Economically, the Maryland Jockey Club has stated in the last two years that the event has an economic impact of $40-$60 million annually for the city and state.

Baltimore Orioles Opening Day has a significant economic impact for the area. Baltimore Ravens playoff games have significant economic impact for the area. The same can be said for the occasional NCAA lacrosse Final Four events. None have the impact of Preakness.

I wrote a similar column to this last year. Some of you were going to point that out. I’ll keep you from having to do just that by linking to it here. I hope you take a look if for no reason than to re-read the words of Newark Star-Ledger columnist Jerry Izenberg, who in 2010 described the relationship between Preakness and Baltimore so well the words should be engraved at Old Hilltop.

A year ago I was angry about how insignificant I felt Preakness had become in Baltimore. I’m not angry this year. I’m wishful. I wish it mattered more. I wish I was preparing to go out to Pimlico every afternoon this week to broadcast live. I wish my friends from around the country were calling me to let me know when they were getting in. I wish I had someone to blame for any of it.

I could blame the job the Maryland Jockey Club has done running the event and both Pimlico and Laurel Park. I could blame the city and state for not offering the level of support necessary to make the event the best it could possibly be. I could blame the sport of horse racing which has failed greatly to fully adapt to 2012 and in many ways still lives in 1942. I could blame us as Baltimoreans for spending too much time worrying about Washington’s pro hockey team and not enough time worrying about our own greatest event. I could blame area media for not treating the event with a level of reverence befitting an event that still annually involves the possibility of a Triple Crown winner.

(For years, the only conversation related to Preakness in Baltimore surrounded the concern that the race might leave the state for Florida. With that dialogue all but useless, area media members have been able only to fall back on “can (insert Derby winner name here) win the Triple Crown?”)

I’m going to talk to jockeys and trainers and horse analysts this week on my show. I’ll ask Kent Desormeaux (he’ll be riding Tiger Walk Saturday) about what it would mean to deliver a Preakness title to a Maryland group (Sagamore Farm). I’ll ask O’Neill about how the limited schedule for the Derby champ could keep his champ fresh for the second jewel. I’ll ask Mike Smith if a better ride aboard Bodemeister would mean the Bob Baffert horse would be coming to Baltimore with a chance to make history.

I’ll talk about horse racing like it mattered here. I’ll talk about the importance of the event to the city.

I wish I wouldn’t be the only one.

Carry on.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 08 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Boxing-ShoBox Yudel Jhonson vs. Willie Nelson (Friday 11pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 68 (Friday 8pm from Atlantic City live on MTV2); Roller Derby: Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena); Soccer: MLS-DC United @ Houston Dynamo (Saturday 4:30pm from Houston live on NBC Sports Network); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Rochester Rattlers @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3.com); Tennis: ATP Tour/WTA Tour Mutua Madrid Open (Tuesday-Friday 7am Saturday 5am Sunday 9:30am from Madrid live on Tennis Channel); Preseason WNBA: Connecticut Sun @ Washington Mystics (Monday 7pm Verizon Center)

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers (Thursday 7:30pm Verizon Center); Avett Brothers (Friday 8pm Patriot Center); Go-Go’s (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Andrew Bird (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live); Eve 6 (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre), Lit (Sunday 5:30pm Recher  Theatre); Fear Factory (Saturday 7pm Sonar); ALO (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Mike Doughty (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Dar Williams (Saturday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); M83 (Saturday 7pm & 11pm 9:30 Club), Cranberries (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); The Maine (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Esperanza Spalding (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Carolina Chocolate Drops (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere), Chris Isaak (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); The Gourds (Wednesday 8:30pm State Theatre); Feist (Wednesday 8pm Strathmore); M3 Rock Festival feat. Night Ranger, Kix, Ratt, Queensryche, Skid Row, Warrant, Quiet Riot, LA Guns, Great White (Friday & Saturday Merriweather Post Pavilion), Rob Zombie/Megadeth (Sunday 3pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); DC101 Chili Cook-Off feat. Incubus, Cake, AWOLNation, Angels & Airwaves, Airborne Toxic Event, Neon Trees (Saturday 11am RFK Stadium); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Thursday 7pm Friday & Saturday 8pm Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts); Glenn Frey (Monday 8pm Warner Theatre); Silversun Pickups “Neck of the Woods” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

One of the highlights of my life was getting a MySpace message from the Eve6 drummer. Seriously.

Mike Doughty is super talented.

I’m not really a Rob Zombie type of guy. I’m such a Rob Zombie type of guy though.

I know a guy who worked as a telemarketer his senior year at Perry Hall High School and sang “Short Skirt Long Jacket” by Cake into multiple answering machines. That guy was me.

9. Brad Sherwood/Colin Mochrie (Friday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Christopher Titus (Friday & Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Colin Quinn (Tuesday & Wednesday DC Improv); “Dark Shadows” in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival (Thursday-Saturday Turf Valley); Foodie Experience feat. Andrew Zimmern (Saturday 3pm France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at the Hippodrome)

Colin Quinn is pretty funny. That said, Colin Quinn was never really all that good on Weekend Update…

Hey! Kat Von D has tattoos! Why don’t a post a picture of her here and just move on already…

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

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Your Monday Reality Check-Umenyiora? Crabtree? Sure, make the call

Posted on 07 May 2012 by Glenn Clark

As first reported by the NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens hosted former Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones for a visit Sunday.

Jacoby Jones became an interesting name for Ravens fans after the NFL Draft, as the Texans’ selection of DeVier Posey made it appear as though the veteran receiver could become expendable for the team. He obviously was, as the team took only days to part ways with Jones.

Perhaps adding Jones to the mix would be a good idea for the Ravens. He’s been in the league for five years, but has only spent the last three seasons getting significant reps as a wide receiver. His numbers aren’t spectacular (31 catches, 512 yards and two touchdowns in 2011), but they’re certainly serviceable for a complementary receiver. The Ravens clearly need depth, as behind starters Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin they have just four combined career receptions (all belonging to LaQuan Willams) from a group that also includes Tandon Doss, David Reed, Phillip Livas, Rodney Bradley, Patrick Williams and 6th round pick Tommy Streeter.

As much as the Ravens may have needed a playmaker type, they clearly needed depth at the position in general. Jones could bring that, and could also bring experience in the return game. Despite his two fumbles against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, he has four TD returns (3 punt, 1 kickoff) in his career.

An even more intriguing name that has loosely been discussed amongst Ravens fans is the name Michael Crabtree. The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver has been a hot topic after the team drafted Illinois WR AJ Jenkins in the first round of the NFL Draft. In addition to Jenkins, the team has added veteran free agent receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss this offseason, leading to some speculation that the team could be prepared to move on from Crabtree after selecting him with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

I want to reiterate that the rumors surrounding Crabtree have been thinly veiled. While a National Football League source told me he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the Ravens had interest in trading for Crabtree, no true source has been able to confirm that actual interest exists. However, in my chat with CBSSports.com NFL writer Clark Judge (who is honestly amongst the absolute best in his line of work) last Friday on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net, the Crabtree-Ravens conversation came up…

JUDGE: “Hey one other question for you, are you serious about taking that caller’s suggestion and trying to acquire Michael Crabtree?”

ME: “No, I don’t think that’s realistic at all. I was trying to play devil’s advocate.”

JUDGE: “The thing about Crabtree is that they would probably be willing to give him away because while he’s young, he’s an underachieving diva. A second rounder? I’d probably give him away for a fourth rounder.”

ME: “If they were willing to give him away for a fourth rounder, I’d be willing to have the conversation.”

JUDGE: “I wouldn’t want him on my team.”

It should be made clear that Judge didn’t report to me that the Niners were interested or willing to trade Crabtree away for a fourth round pick. He simply said that HE would be willing to do that if he were making the calls for San Fran. (The chat is available here in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault.)

I’ll say again what I said to Clark Judge. If the San Francisco 49ers were willing to trade Michael Crabtree away for a fourth round pick, I’d have the conversation. I’m aware that Crabtree has yet to fully live up to his potential as a Top 10 pick and has certainly had “personality issues” that stem back to his lengthy rookie holdout. I’m also aware that the former Texas Tech standout has become more and more productive in each of his three years in the league and his best year (2011) coincided with the year his quarterback (Alex Smith) finally moved into the “credible” category of NFL signal callers.

Let me stress, I’d have the conversation. But it’s important to point out again that this is not a fantasy football league. This is the NFL.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Towson visits UMass for CAA semifinal Wednesday

Posted on 01 May 2012 by WNST Staff

Opening Face-Off
Towson men’s lacrosse will be making its eighth appearance in the CAA Tournament since joining the league 11 years ago as the Tigers travel to top-seeded and No. 1-ranked UMass on Wednesday. The Tigers (7-7, 2-4 CAA), who have dropped four straight games, are the No. 4 seed. Towson met UMass in the CAA Tournament semifinals in 2010, topping the Minutemen 13-6 at home. Opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m. and all the action can be heard live on WNST-AM 1570 with Spiro Morekas and Hunter Lochte calling the action.

Updating the Tigers
After winning five consecutive games to become nationally-ranked, the Tigers have dropped four straight to even their record at 7-7. Towson still qualified for the CAA Tournament though by virtue of their head-to-head win at Hofstra, which also had a 2-4 mark in CAA action. Towson’s leading goal scorer during the regular season was Sean Maguire, who posted 19 goals to go along with six assists. Sophomore Thomas DeNapoli leads the Tigers in points with 27 on 15 goals and a team-high 12 assists. Faceoff specialist Ian Mills has won 88 of 157 (56 percent) matchups in the ‘X’ this year and he’s also posted a team-high 47 groundballs. In the cage for the Tigers is junior Andrew Wascavage, who has a 9.53 goals-against-average and has saved 56.7 percent of shots face this season. Wascavage is just two games removed from stopping a career-high 21 shots against No. 19 Drexel.

Scouting the Minutemen
UMass is ranked No. 1 in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll. At 13-0, the Minutemen are the only remaining unbeaten team in the country. UMass posted its first perfect regular-season since 1969 by winning at Delaware on Friday. The Minutemen are led by Tewaaraton nominee Will Manny, who leads the team in points (65), goals (39) and assists (26).

Towson-UMass Series History
Wednesday’s game will be just the sixth all-time meeting between Towson and UMass. The programs met in 1963, but then did not play again until 2010. The squads will be playing for the fifth time since 2010 when they battle on Wednesday. UMass leads the all-time series 3-2 after defeating the Tigers at home this season, 14-3, on April 7. Towson won the only other meeting at Garber Field, 10-9, on April 10, 2010. The Minutemen have won two straight against the Tigers.

Just 26 Days Ago…
The Tigers and Minutemen met on the lacrosse field just 26 days ago in Amherst, Mass. Towson trailed by just two at halftime, but UMass dominated the second half to snap the Tigers’ five-game winning streak. The Minutemen scored 11 of the game’s final 12 goals to pick up the 14-3 victory. The Tigers were outshot 55-24 and won just five of 19 faceoff’s. Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage recorded 15 saves and the Tigers got goals from Andrew Hodgson, Sean Maguire and Matt Hughes.

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